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PETITIONED HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ATLANTIC STATES CAST IRON PIPE
PHILLIPSBURG, WARREN COUNTY, NJ


SUMMARY

This public health assessment is an evaluation of existing environmental data, both on- and off-site, and community health concerns related to Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company. Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company (ASCIP) is a foundry that has manufactured municipal water piping since 1974 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. The original foundry complex has been used for metal casting since its construction in 1856 . The primary focus of this document is the possible health implications of benzo(a)pyrene air emissions from Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has classified the ASCIP site as No Apparent Public Health Hazard based on the levels of contaminants found in the indoor and outdoor air. A review of past and current environmental data show that the air emissions from Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company and in outdoor air in the Phillipsburg area do not pose a threat to human health. The levels of benzo(a)pyrene detected in indoor and outdoor air are not at levels known to cause health effects. The on-and off-site soil does not pose a threat to human health based on the low levels of contaminants detected.


PURPOSE AND HEALTH ISSUES

Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company (ASCIP) is a ductile iron pipe foundry that has been in operation since 1974 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Area citizens petitioned the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to evaluate the potential public health impact of benzo(a)pyrene migrating off-site from ASCIP air emissions. Community members suspected that ASCIP air emissions were associated with past respiratory illnesses, heart and skin problems, and neurological disorders. The purpose of this public health assessment is to identify potential human exposures related to ASCIP by evaluating existing on- and off-site environmental data, community health concerns, and to recommend appropriate public health follow-up activities.

Site Background

ASCIP has been manufacturing grey-iron ductile pipes for municipal water supply plumbing utilizing coke as a fuel source since 1974. The original foundry site was constructed in 1856 on approximately two acres. ASCIP is privately owned and operated in an area of mixed residential, commercial, and industrial zones in the Delaware River Valley of New Jersey. A map with the location and demographics of ASCIP is located in Appendix A. This area has an industrial history and is near other industrialized towns (i.e., Allentown, Pennsylvania). In a 1985 air pollution study, the city of Phillipsburg had the highest 24-hour measurement of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) out of 27 cities in New Jersey [1]. B[a]P, a polyaromatic hydrocarbon, is an incomplete combustion by-product commonly found in outdoor air. ASCIP is a known point source for B[a]P. In the 1980s, ASCIP was cited for several air permit and Clean Air Act violations [2]. The citations were issued for emissions that exceeded the air permit and inappropriate air pollution control equipment. During this time period, the Warren County Department of Health received many complaints regarding visible air emissions, odors, and noise coming from ASCIP. Another source of PAHs in Phillipsburg was a major diesel truck route that ran through Phillipsburg until the 1990s. The traffic burden was relieved by changes in the traffic routing, but probably contributed to the B[a]P levels in the air [2].

ASCIP used an on-site landfill until 1983 to dispose nonhazardous industrial waste. After the closure and capping of this landfill, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued ASCIP a pollutant discharge elimination system permit (a permit regulating industrial effluents) that required the installation of five groundwater monitoring wells. The groundwater is analyzed quarterly to detect possible contaminant impact from landfill leachate [3]. Groundwater monitoring wells are for monitoring purposes only and are not used as potable water sources. The monitoring data from these wells show that landfill leachate has not contaminated the groundwater [2].

Results of ATSDR evaluation of the environmental monitoring are presented in the Discussion section of this document.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Specific community health concerns related to air emissions from the plant were expressed by Phillipsburg residents. The concerns included: respiratory illnesses, cancer, neurological disorders, skin problems, cardiac disease, and eye irritations. Area residents believed that exposure to B[a]P from ASCIP air emissions was causing these health problems. Other community concerns noted by the Warren County Department of Health were noise, odors, and concern about explosion hazards at ASCIP [2].

Since the implementation of air pollution control equipment in the early 1990s, air emissions from the foundry have visibly decreased. Currently, the Warren County Health Department seldom receives complaints about ASCIP [2].


DEMOGRAPHICS

There are about 15,000 people living within a one mile radius of ASCIP (Appendix A) [4]. The population is 94% white, and 3% is black, 3% Hispanic, and less than 0.5%Asian or another race. Of the total population, 12% are under age 6 years old and 16% are age 65 years and older. In 1990 there were 3,400 females of reproductive age (15-44 years) or 23% in the area.

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